Plants use sand armour to break teeth of attacking caterpillars

时间:2019-03-07 10:01:02166网络整理admin

Eric LoPresti SOME plants have an odd defensive tactic against insects. It seems they use sand grains as abrasive armour that damages the insects’ teeth. These “psammophorous” plants have sticky surfaces to which sand adheres. This sand was suspected to be involved in protecting against herbivorous insects, but this was only tested in 2016. Eric LoPresti of the University of California, Davis, showed that plants with sand coats are eaten less. LoPresti and his colleagues have now examined why. The team raised caterpillars on beach plants called sand verbenas (Abronia latifolia),